This makes it all the more surprising that the politician has decided to reveal how much he used to earn from his former US employer.
His post in Facebook now says: “For those interested, my American salary amounted to almost $200,000 [annually] before my appointment to Odessa, plus the further income from lectures and public appearances.”
The claim is supported by a certificate issued in Washington DC and signed by former Georgian Ambassador to the US Temuri Yakobashvili, certifying that Mikheil Saakashvili has been employed at the New International Leadership Institute since May 1, 2015 with an annual gross salary of $198,000.
The certificate, as it says, was issued on May 15, 2015.
Interestingly enough, Saakashvili was appointed as the governor of Odessa Region on May 30, 2015. And on May 13, he was appointed head of the Ukrainian National Council of Reforms. So it remains to be seen whether he had the chance to receive at least one monthly salary from the US institute.
Earlier in June the apparatus of the Odessa regional administration revealed what Saakashvili is getting now at his current post: an equivalent of $267 a month, a little more than the official income of a Verkhovna Rada deputy.
Saakashvili however hastened to explain why he has turned down his expected wages in the US:
“Me and my friends are coming to the civil service not for money,” he claims, “anyway, the service for the society is more important than any money. It is hard to explain in a society where people experience hardship that the civil servants should be paid more. But my strong conviction is that we should employ new, unblemished people and in a while, when the tax revenues go up, in other words, when the money goes straight into the budget and not into the pockets of the corrupt officials, we will offer them a decent salary; we wll simultaneously be able to raise pensions, build roads and better equip our armed forces.”